Free Google Maps unfair to paid competitors, France rules

by Walter Olson on February 3, 2012

At Cato at Liberty, I find that uncannily reminiscent of a famous Bastiat parody (& IEA, Tim Worstall).

More from Coyote: “left unsaid is how they would jack up their prices when at least two other companies (Bing, Mapquest) also provide mapping services online for free.” But note that the French case arose not from Google’s furnishing of its free map service to individual end customers, but from its furnishing of its map API to businesses that typically adapt it for use in their own sites; as commenters at BoingBoing and Reddit as well as news reports point out, Google has indeed introduced fees for its largest business users of this type (which has caused some of them to adapt by switching from Google’s API to OpenStreetMap, a free wiki-based map service).

{ 3 comments }

1 Pete Warden 02.03.12 at 5:14 pm

Can you imagine what they’ll do when they discover OpenStreetMap is not only free to use, but made from components anyone can copy and host themselves? Sacré bleu!

2 Tom Rees 02.06.12 at 7:11 am

France of course leads the way in implementation of open source software (linux etc for governmental use). The issue is not the zero price, but rather a mega-corporation providing services below cost price in order to squeeze out competitors and distort the market. Anti-competitive practices, in other words.

3 Ron Miler 02.06.12 at 11:36 am

We should be careful not to define anti-competitive as what we think they will do or what we think they are thinking.

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